February 2, 2017
Punxsutawney Phil has taken umbrage with spring and supposes six more weeks of winter for 2017! Much like this little groundhog, Tennessee Valley residents are very weather aware here in Huntsville, thanks to the wide array of meteorological phenomena we experience, ranging from March snowstorms to summer droughts and from tornados to flash flooding. Two upcoming events during the last weekend in February highlight our collective fascination with weather extremes and prepare us for the coming storm season.
On February 25, UAH's Student Chapter of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association (UAH AMS/NWA) is hosting the Rocket City Weather Fest at UAH's Shelby Center. The free, family-friendly event will have hands-on activities and demonstrations, kids’ games and crafts, a SKYWARN Spotter training course, and other informative seminars. The fest runs from 10am-4pm. Highlights include:
David Haliczer, a grad student at UAH and one of the organizers for the fest, advises having an emergency kit in place just in case severe weather strikes your area (he recommends checking out the government approved kit list). Also, be sure to heed all severe weather watches and warnings, which you can stay apprised of with a weather radio.
If you are currently needing to upgrade your emergency kit, purchase a weather radio, or bolster other supplies needed to get you through an evening of inclement weather, save the date! That same weekend is the annual Severe Weather Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday. During the 72 hours from Friday the 24th to Sunday the 26th, consumers can purchase weather preparedness goods without sales tax. Here's the full list of state-approved items. (Find out if your city and county are participating) Those seeking relief would do well to venture out that weekend and capitalize on the holiday.
Clear your calendar this last weekend in February to get ready for the potential severe weather coming this spring. Educate yourself on Saturday and go shopping on the weekend to prep you and your family for storms. Ultimately, education and supplies will prepare residents for the severe weather that arrives in Madison County each spring.
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This tax season is an important one for many business owners because it’s the first that will be impacted by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). How big of an impact is dependent on your unique situation. We’ve compiled this short list of provisions that may affect the business community:
Alabama started requiring driver license info on their individual return filings a few years ago in an effort to reduce fraudulent filings. At first this was greeted with some complaints and raised eyebrows due to the additional data needed as well as privacy concerns. However, reports indicate that fraudulent tax refunds at the Alabama level have decreased. Between the time saved and increased security, this could be classified as a win for Alabama.
According to Forbes.com, Super Bowl viewers traditionally load up on millions of pounds of less-than-healthy foods during the big game—including ribs, pulled pork, tortilla chips, nuts, popcorn and bacon—all washed down with beer (the Super Bowl beverage of choice). If you are trying to stick to your New Year’s resolution to eat better, consider a few healthy substitutes for the traditional Super Bowl eats: